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Ginebra favored

  • Written by Arman Carandang
  • Published in Basketball
  • Read: 448

Games today

(Cuneta Astrodome)

4:15 p.m. -- San Miguel vs. NLEX

7 p.m. -- Ginebra vs. Rain or Shine

ITS hot streak stalled when the league took a break to give way to the Southeast Asian Basketball Association tournament, Barangay Ginebra admitted the daunting task of rekindling the fire as it plunges into action in the resumption of the PBA today.

“It’s been a terrifically long break so we’re apprehensive as to how sharp we’ll be tomorrow (today),” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “Plus we’re uncertain of Japeth Aguilar’s availability because he has had no practice with us this week and hence no preparation for what we’re to do against Rain or Shine.”
    
It’s been 11 days since the Gin Kings had their last outing in the PBA, or since they nipped Alaska, 103-102, last May 7 in a game where Ginebra import Justin Brownlee scored 37 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made six assists.
    
It was their fifth straight win since they dropped their opening game in the midseason conference last April 1 to Phoenix, 94-91.
    
The good thing about the Gin Kings is that they are not new to the situation.
    
When the league also took a week long-break for its Annual All-Star, the Gin Kings also had the same concern. And yet, the league’s most popular ballclub was able to keep its winning ways.
    
“We’ll see if we can figure it all out in time for our game. But no doubt, our guys are raring to get back at it,” said Cone.
    
The Gin Kings set out at the Cuneta Astrodome for the 7 p.m. battle with the dangerous Elasto Painters, who had reportedly recalled their former import in Duke Crews in their bid to arrest their sagging campaign in the tournament they won last season under coach Yeng Guiao who is now with NLEX.
    
Rain or Shine has dropped four of their last five outings with Shawn Taggart as their import, and the ROS management noted that Taggart had suddenly lost the energy and intensity he had shown early in the tournament.
    
ROS won three straight -- 113-105 (vs NLEX),  99-95 in overtime (vs Mahindra) and 95-88 (vs Blackwater) -- before taking a plunge with losses to Meralco, Alaska, San Miguel Beer and Star. In its last five games, the E-Painters posted a lone win over Phoenix.
    
The ROS management though has yet to officially inform the PBA Commissioner’s Office of the change of their import.
    
San Miguel Beer likewise tries to rev up its 5-1 record in its bid for incentive as it takes on NLEX in the first game at 4:15 p.m.
    
Meanwhile, Talk N Text is pondering on replacing Donte Greene, who has shown flashes of brilliance and even gained a look as a Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player prospect, yet has left the Tropang Texters wanting more after seven games for the squad due to his lack of consistency.
    
TNT is now looking at Joshua Smith, a burly big man listed at 6’10" who played college ball at UCLA before transferring to Georgetown.
    
A TNT insider said Smith has actually been practicing with the Texters alongside Greene since Saturday.